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Kuwait calls for Arab customs union

CAIRO: Director-General of Kuwait Customs, Suleiman Al-Fahad, urged Arab countries to collaborate in the customs field on Tuesday. The remarks came following the 43rd meeting of chiefs of customs authorities in the Arab states. Fahad, who led the country’s delegation, said the step was necessary to fully implement the Arab free zone agreement. He added that he envisioned Kuwait facilitating the establishment of an Arab customs union.

Director-General of Kuwait Customs Suleiman Al-Fahad

During his speech, Arab League Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs, Ali Al-Malki, said there should be further cooperation among Arab states in all fields. He specifically singled out the economic sector, as the Arab region is faced with an “unprecedented” global economic crisis.

The slow economic growth and potentially ensuing recession is the most dangerous threat Arab countries must prepare for, said Malki. He warned that the global economy is expected to lose $4 trillion by 2026 due to the recession. Customs authorities, he said, are the first line of defense tasked with protecting countries from such threat.

Fahad said the meeting focused on boosting customs cooperation between the Gulf and the Arab states and following up on the Arab free zone deal. He urged Arab countries to join the customs cooperation deal which came into effect last August, with seven states as signatories. The meeting also discussed other topics such as the mechanism of unifying customs tariff and the Arab transit transport deal. – KUNA

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